Monday, December 27, 2010

Let it snow!

My new header photo is actually from last year.....too much blowing and drifting going on right now for me to brave the outdoors with a camera.     So glad I have the day off and don't have to think about driving in this blowing and drifting.  My daughter has been forced to stay (oh drat!) an extra day before she attempts to drive what takes her 6 and a half hours on a good trip back to Boston.  In south Jersey, it still looks like it is snowing with all the snow that is blowing.  I expect any minute to see the neighbors cat fly by the window! 

And if not their cat, than maybe I will see penquins on my pool cover before the day is over.
Stay warm all and use the snowbound day to stitch!  Double drat!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Happy Holidays




I just love his face


Welcoming basket of greens

Squirrel Ornie

Another Squirrel Ornie

Squirrel Tree - All pine cones and squirrel ornaments

A trash find at work! all decorated for the holidays.

My Scandanavian Santa and Aunt Emily's Placemats



Little touches on shelves

My teddy bears all dressed for the holidays!

And the stockings soon to be hung

A bright little corner at the bottom of the stairs






Wildflower Tree

Dimensions Stitchery stitched for my mom in the 80's.   I love it!


Close up of the wildflower tree


A Favorite Ornament

My husband's Santa Train Bank that is on display every year.

Come on it!

Welcome home!

Merry Christmas!
All shiny and bright

Sunday, December 12, 2010

A nice place to visit

New York City that is.......you couldn't tell by crowds shopping yesterday and the people going to the theater that we are in any kind of economic recession.   They were out in droves......

Fountain at Rockefeller Center
I enjoyed a bus trip to NYC and the Rockettes Show at Radio City Music Hall.   What a fun way to spend the day with my BFF Debbie.  We arrived and headed straight to Saks 5th Avenue for lunch.   Let me tell you, delicious, but truthfully it cost more than I spend on a dinner out at Applebee's.   Well, I can now say I 'lunched at Saks'.....

I guess you have to be the right type of person to deal with the crowds, I mean CROWDS.   Unbelievable amount of people.  NYC's finest kept things moving along.   The show at Radio City was really amazing.   What a beautiful theater.   No photos from inside since they were forbiden.   I only hope those who didn't follow the rules have crummy photos since their repeated flashes were very distracting. 

After the show, we walked a bit. We went inside St. Patrick's Cathedral. That is worth a visit.

I drive my sister crazy with my architectural and scenery pictures.    She will say........weren't there any people there?   I choose to take the beauty of the building.  The feat of the construction is something I marvel at.

This is the reflection of the church spire in the building across the street.
So, that said, here's an update on my life.   The back issue is not a (totally) a back issue, it is part hip, part back, part out of shape, part overweight.   My back did go out a few weeks back but it was not related to the ongoing dull ache in the lower back and hip pain.   One is cyatic (Sp??) and the other is due to arthritis in my hips.  Short term, endure the pain, exercise and loose weight; long term - hip replacement.  So not to dwelve, we will cross that bridge in 3 to 5, 5 to 7 years when we get there.   For now - at the WORST time of the year - I plan to watch my diet, employ portion control (LOL) and try my best not to dive head first into the Christmas cookies before work.   I know my pattern and I will take just one while I check email, just one while I drink my coffee, just two for the road and before I know it, I single handedly have eaten a whole batch.   Take the 7 layer cookies....I mean it, please take them off the face of the earth.   I used to make a triple batch in an 11 x 17 pan and only two years ago found out I am the only one who likes them!  OMG!     But again, enough.....

This is the true status of my holiday decorating...not like the tree from 2009 in my header.

Turning 180 degrees from the table shot, I have managed to get a few festive things in place. Boy Oh No!  Wheres my snowflake garland that I weave in and out of my Hoosier glassware?
For now, the Christmas music is playing and I am decorating.  I did decide I needed to take a little rest from all the lugging and reaching and bending....what a wus I am. 

I am excited about the 15 in 2011.   I want to start already!     I have not gotten in much stitching lately.  This whole back/hip thing really took the starch out of me.   Such a busy time of the year for all of us.   Busy brings me to .....My Trash/Your Treasure - Linda of Succulent Sisters never replied to any of my emails about being my random so I will draw another.   Drum roll please.....and the winner is  ...#33 Golden Angel Works.    I'll get an email out shortly.  Jody also emailed me her address and I hope to post her envelope this week.  Looks like I have two more trips to add to my lunch time running around.......that and decide what to get my husband for Christmas! 

Back to the ladder and hanging stuff and decorating stuff.    Have a great week everyone!  Keep dry and warm.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Don't get excited!

My header has LAST year's tree.....I have been shamed into changing out the Thanksgiving photo I had up.    The boxes of decorations are making their way out of the attic but the decorations have not gone up yet.  Soon, hopefully soon.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

15 in One Challenge

Well. I'm doing it.  Call it insanity, call it unnecessary self-imposed stress, call it whatever, but here's the deal......I have the patterns, I have the floss, I have the linen.....what's the worst that will happen?  I don't finish them all?  Well up til now, they have just been gathering dust in the cabinet waiting for someone to appreciate them!   So, I am rationalizing, it will be a win/win. 

Here's my list - not necessarily in working order:
1.  Blessed Beyond Measure - Blue Ribbon Designs
2.  Eat Drink and Be Scary - Waxing Moon Designs
3.  1799 Quaker Pinkeep - Williamsburg
4.  ABC's of Aging - Lizzie Kate
5.  Heart of America - Little House Needleworks
6.  Daisy Needle Tweets - Just Nan
7.  Skeleton Shadow Box - Prairer Moon
8.  Chocolate Box - Little House Needleworks
9.  Needle and Thread - Little House Needleworks
10. Three Pears - The Cottage at Cardiff Farms
11. Tuffetts - Miss Rosie's Quilt Co.
12. October Spooks - Pine Mountain
13. Leaf - Bent Creek
14. Plum Berry Sampler - Bent Creek
15. Friendship Star Puzzle Purse - Prairie Sampler
                         
I plan to organize every project in its own zip lock bag and stitch in rotation.  First free night - lol - I hope to package everything up and be ready to start.   Wait......I might even start pulling floss tonight!!!!  My stitching area is going to be a mess of bags!   I even want to keep a log.   Duh!  More pressure!  We will see how that part really pans out.  Seriously, I think I have selected a sensible amount of smaller projects that I will add to the list in between the larger ones.   Maybe - halfway through/or as I make progress and complete some - I can throw some existing WIP's in the mix.   

Today - the decorations were to be done but I have a funeral to go to.   The funeral was for my sister's mother-in-law.   She was a full blooded Nanticoke-Lenni Lenape Indian and the traditional ceremony was conducted.  It was a really spiritual and meaningful ceremony.   My sister has only been married for a few years and her m-in-l was 91 so I tended to not think that she had a big old life before we met her.   There were stories of her motor cycle riding and her trophies for riding; stories about her service and faith to her church /she worked for 25+ years as the church secretary leaving at the age of 78!; her pride of her heritage; and so much more.  There were so many incredible things told about her today that I regret I did not know them before.  Our elders have so much wisdom and knowledge to share with us we need to remember to listen to them and to learn from them before it is too late.

Elizabeth Edwards, 11-21-1919 to 11-26-2010

Back to a stitchie front - I finished my Love and Wisdom by Drawn Thread today!  Yeah!  I got busted by Mr. W doing the happy dance and he just shook his head and said something disparaging to the cat and back out to his barn he went.   Oh well! 


Oops! Sometimes I can turn the pix and sometimes I can't!

Top half of sampler

Bottom half of sampler



This is the spot I need to decide what to do with.   Each corner has one and the pattern calls for celtic knot charms.
  It was a major WIP and I can't believe I tossed into the bottomless pit of WIP's and managed to zip through it when I decided to  pick it back up just weeks ago.    I do need to order the charms for the corner sections OR I need to decide if I should stitch in the date and my initials.  Just in time to mount my Lizzie Kate ABC's of Aging on my scroll frame for my 15 in One challenge.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Crazy Talk II

I pulled put my stash to see what I had for the 15 project challenge......I can't believe I feel inspired or is that a bit of insanity creeping like a dark spector similar to the way the bad guys come out of the sewers in the form of black shapeless clouds in the movie Ghost?   

I found more than 20 - lol imagine that - with fabric and floss in my 'to-do' next basket.  I even managed to find one to send to Jodie with an alphabet in it.   I want to run to my LNS this week and pick up the fabric before I send it off to her to stitch and enjoy and fabric I need for one. 

Sorry for the glare of the overhead light in the wee hours of the morning.


If, IF, I take this on, I will have to make a list to post in my sidebar of project title and designer.
 I fussed and arranged and tried to pare down before I needed to get a serious move on and shower for work without a decision being finalized.   I even put some attention into the order I should start.....alternating easy-peasy ones and quick stitches between largers stitchy delights.  I wonder what the best approach would be......alternate proejcts in their little bags in the order I start them?   On no, more could end up in the WIP pile.  Won't get boring at least.   Or start to finish one as a time?     If I alternate, what will I do when I go on vacation?   Take 7 zip lock bags with projects?  What to do, what to do!

Then I figured it out, that 15 projects in one year gives me 24 days for each on average and of course some will take 2 days and some will take many more.  Seems doable.

I must be suffereing from temporary insanity to be even be considering this.......temporary insanity or lack of sleep......but the mind is whirling..............if I overcast all the edges, pull all the threads, zip-lock everything up between Christmas and New Year's............then maybe.  As they say, it is all in prep work and having the right tools.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Is this crazy talk or what?

I have been reading some of your posts about the Crazy 15 Challenge for 2011.      Why, I ask???   How, I ask??? and again, Why, I ask?    Why would I want to make myself any more stressed or crazy then I am trying to complete all those projects?   How do people stitch that many things and still go to work and clean their houses? and Why 15?   Where'd that number appear from?   Why not 12 - one a month.   I think I am a quick stitcher until I see what some others turn out!  Geez!  I play it off by justifying to myself it is because I go off in too many directions - community groups, volunteer groups, working out at the gym, officer and chairmanship rolls - that each steal precious stitching time and that is without mentioning the dreaded time sucking votex of the internet and the hours at a time never to be recaptured.  Truth is I can be a ding-bat and just kind of forget what I am doing or even why I came in a room.....anyone relate to that one?

I had to chuckle (sorry!!) at Jodie of http://katescraftyblog.blogspot.com/   where she posted about this challenge.   Jodie is so sweet and so young and doesn't have 15 patterns in her stash pile!  OMG  I must have 10 times 15 in my patterns waiting to be done, many of which are kitted up and I will never ever get to.    I offer one up to Jodie if she tells me what she likes!   I just love to see younger girls take an interest in stitching.   Seriously, Jodie, comment on what you like and if I have it, I'd be glad to send it your way.   Maybe I should say, if a comment were to TURNIP from you......unless you have read Jodie's blog, you won't understand. 

I like a challenge and might have to consider joining especially if I mix it up with some quilting kits and wool workings.......hmmm......I even counted my starts/finishes for 2010 and was surprised to tally up 11, and 10 books I read and that was in the mist of prepping for a wedding!......sounds like I might be leaning towards taking on the challenge........what's the worst that world happen.....more WIP's? ........that is before I spied the current size of my WIP pile! 

The jury is out on this one ladies for me and it will depend if I have time to do a stash search to see what I have that I might fancy stitching in 2011 and if I believe I can be faithful about not doing any doing only minimal STASH ENHANCEMENT in 2011!    I wonder if I have 15 zippered project bags?

Friday, November 26, 2010

My TRASH is your TREASURE Winner

But first.....

Two days of cooking
One day of cleaning
Countless bags of groceries unloaded from the car
Lots of good food
Side splitting laughter with family
........a nap when the kids went to visit friends after dinner------priceless

I hope all enjoyed their Thanksgiving Day.

and now for Black Friday ...... you won't find me Mall hopping.   I put a value on my time and the frustration of parking lots and crowds and dealing with rude people in checkout lines and having to listen to crying kids and factor in with the savings offset by the blood pressure rise and the general headache and vote NO!  Almost all my holiday shopping is completed already and there will be internet shopping this weekend to finish up.  

One shopping exception will for the trip to the quilt shop in Middletown DE - The Lil Country Shoppe.  Their weekday hours don't allow me time to shop and I definitely need some Christmas red and Christmas green wool.  With my daughter here from Boston it is a great way for her and I to have some girl time.

And then it will be off to Philly to visit my eldest daughter.  She convinced (or guilted or enticed) us to a visit today with the promise of sharing some of her stash.   She needs help paring down her fiber and fabric stash....so her trash becomes our treasure which rolls right into the winner of my Trash to Treasure give-a-way.........using the random number generator and the numbers 1 to 109 (the number of followers as of mid-night November  7).....and the winner is........Linda of Two Succulant Sisters.        Linda  - Please email me at red1974@hotmail.com with your mailing address and I will get your envelope of beads and fabrics off to you.    If I don't get an email from Linda by Dec. 3rd, I will draw another number.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

The ABC's of Me!

Borrowed from Meari.....just for fun.....
A - Age: 50-something
B - Bed size: Queen-sized Sleep Number
C - Chore you hate: Filing paperwork
D - Dog's name: NA
E - Essential start your day item(s): Stitching time
F - Favorite color: Blues, especially turquoise
G - Gold or Silver: Gold
H - Height: 5' 5"
I - Instruments you play: LOL - I have NO rhythm
J - Job: Executive Administrative Assistant
K - Kids: 2 daughters, 1 son, 1 son-in-law, 1 daughter-in-law
L - Living Arrangements: Married with Children with a mortgage!
M - Music you love: Easy Listening/piano instrumentals/Drum Corp and quad solos
N - Nicknames: Rob
O - Overnight hospital stay other than birth: Yes
P - Pet Peeve: Drama. All the drama some people generate
Q - Quote from a movie: ...."turn you from a rooster to a hen in one shot", Dolly Parton, Steel Magnolias
R - Right or left handed: Left
S - Siblings: 1 sisters, 1 brothers, 2 half brothers
T - Time you wake up: 5:30AMish
U - Underwear: All colors, all styles
V - Vegetable you dislike: Love them all, especially if I can melt cheese on them
W - Workout Style: YMCA 3 times a week
X - rays you've had: Mammo, spine, hips, radioactive uptakes of thyroid
Y - Yummy food you make: Seven Layer Cookie Bars!
Z - The best place to visit: Either of my daughers!

And now you know my ABC's, won't you play along with me?

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

ABC's of Reading

I adapted this idea from Anna at http://stitchbitch.blogspot.com/2010/11/bookish-sunday.html.   A lot of people enjoy reading and  since a lot of us post the lists of books we read, I thought this was a neat challenge to myself and a neat way to keep track of what I/we/what everyone is reading. 

Reading is such an escape.  It opens up so much; it takes you away; it allows you to travel to the far corners of the world, to dream, to laugh, to cry, to yearn and to learn.   I loved reading to my kids when they were little.  I remember struggling with my son who didn't like to read and when in about the 4th grade I coaxed him to read the little snippets at the end of articles in the Reader's Digest.   Now, 20 years later, the Reader's Digest is a staple on the Christmas to all three of my children. 

I read almost nightly while Mr. W and I have our *quality time*.  When he comes in from the 'barn' he puts his iPod on the player and we listen to music.  I also read on my treadmill.  Boy can I rack up the miles when I am into a good book.


Here are the rules for my challenge to myself  --- ABC's of Reading --- I will list a book I've read that starts with each letter of the alphabet. (I don't count the "T" in the lead word "The", or "A")   If I don’t have a book for a letter (such as Z or X) then I will  substitute a book that simply has that letter in the title (ex. The Lost City of Z). However, I will only allow myself three of these WILDCARDS.  (Z, X, and Q. But not Z, X, Q, and V.)  My books will most likely be fiction and autobiographical.  But you could do it with any genre from fiction to non-fiction to poetry to textbooks.   I haven't put any deadline on this and I have a non-impressive average of 12 books a year.  

I've already listed my duplicate letters as my wildcards at the bottom of the list waiting for a place I may need to plug them in!  See my sidebar to the right for my *partial* list.   Looks like I've got a lot of letters open still!    Looks like I may need some ~title~ suggestions for some of these letters.

Feel free to copy the idea and create your own challenge and join in!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Turning the corner

Pumpkins on the Hill little pillow
 Literally........I have been dedicating little BURSTS of time to this project and that and can report progress on all fronts.......well maybe not all fronts.......but at least on the crafting fronts.   I did the finishing on my bent Creek Pumpkins on the Hill.


Turning the corner on the inner border

Here is my progress on my Drawn Thread Love and Wisdom. This is the quild project that I got fed with because I felt like it was all I was working on and put in the WIP pile for 2 years. WOW! now that I have picked it up again, I feel like I am flying through it. Maybe it is the scroll frame I have it on. I have worked in hand for so long and still believe on some projects it will be my preferred method but I am learning to love the scroll frame again. I have several stitching friends that swear by the scroll frames so I thought, what the hey! see if I can work with it. Wow-wee Ca-zow-wee! I just love loosening those wing nuts and rolling the linen up to advance the fabric.


Loving these little features of my scroll frame
A place to keep threads ready for the needle



Oh boy! Don't even want to think about framing costs!


One thing about the scroll frame.....less wrinkles

Another way I am grabbing little snippets of time is to go into my sewing room each night before I go to bed and lay out the pieces for my next (machine) sewing step on my Hokey Pokey quilt.   I am amazed at the progress I have been able to make in a week's time by spending 20 to 30 minutes in the morning cutting, piecing and/or trimming.   84 squares down and 84 to go! 

I have alternated the morning sewing with stolen minutes wrapping Christmas presents.   I refuse to get myself caught up in the "Oh no, too much to do, too little time and now I am wrapping on Christmas eve" again like last year.

I really think a lot of us probably put things off with the disclaimer there is not enough time......well there may not be enough time to wrap ALL the presents but if I can knock out a package here and half dozen there, just like a stitch or 50 here and there, there is no way I won't be making progress on all fronts!  Yeah me!  Just like the tortoise and the hare.....I am just plugging along little bit by little bit.   I will just keep that handy kitchen timer nearby so I get in the shower and off to work on time........enjoy your week everyone!  Happy Stitching and Safe and Happy Thanksgiving.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Eeeeeeeuuuuuuuhhhhh!

 Or however you spell the word associated with GROSSNESS!   I need a preliminary statement here about the cleanliness of my house.   My matra has always been "clean enough to be healthy and dirty enough to be happy".  That said, I know I am cleaner then most but not as fanatical as some but I am feeling creepy crawly right about now.  

 I went upstairs - the empty part of the my empty nest where my sewing room is - and starting the cleaning of the windows and mirror in the bath.    The window had not been shut or sealed all the way and I had a whole lot of those nasty stick bugs that everyone is complaining about all fall.   They were all in the window mechanism when I tilted the window in the wash.   I can tell you the Windex may not kill them but it will render them 'stunned' long enough to flick them outside.   EEEUUUUUUUUHHHHHH!

   Not only that, when I moved the curtains there were a bunch in the folds of the curtains so out the windows I threw the curtains, rod and all.   I have no clue nor do I care what the neighbors raking their leaves next door thought when they saw that like exhibit of craziness! Yuck!  Who knew an internet search for images would produce so many varietys.   I am not sure which ones I saw flicked out the window at the other end of my screw driver! And I have an exterminator come regularly!   These little critters are keeping me from potential stitching time!